This week in West Orange County history

See the stories from West Orange County's past that shaped this area.

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85 years ago

Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Newton announced the engagement of their daughter, Pauline Beatrice, to Cecil T. Dees.

Clark Griffith, owner of the Washington Senators baseball club, was in Winter Garden to inspect Walker Field, where the Albany club planned to train in the spring. He said he had never seen a finer baseball diamond.


70 years ago

Joe Hendricks, former congressman, made a speech at the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner. He discussed the war in Korea and made suggestions of things that should be done to combat Communism. The average citizen, he said, is not taking Communism with its threat to the American way of life as seriously as he should.


50 years ago

Richard Webb purchased Pounds Pharmacy in Ocoee and has changed the name to Webb’s Pharmacy.

Mrs. J.E. Clonts and Miss Frances Thurman entertained at Mrs. Clonts’ home honoring Mrs. D.O. Thumon on her birthday anniversary. Mrs. C.M. Tucker, Miss Dewey Vick and Miss Frances Thurman assisted in serving.

The West Orange Jaycees spotted another community need and made plans to provide playground equipment for the city park immediately west of the City Auditorium on Lake Apopka. There will be swings for toddlers and older children, slides, a merry-go-round and monkey bars. The equipment is of a sturdy variety, said committee chairman Robert Barber.


20 year ago

Bert Edward Roper was selected for inclusion in the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame. He was born into a citrus family in 1923 and eventually ran the family citrus business, Roper Growers Cooperative, and other citrus interests.

Southwest Middle School Principal Eugene Trochinski was named the new principal at Dr. Phillips High School.



Jan. 21, 1971

The Rev. Charley Grant wrote a weekly piece that ran in newspapers across the nation. Uncle Charley’s “Epigrins” appeared weekly in The Winter Garden Times, and the column contained a number of quips.

Grant was a pastor at many churches, including St. Paul’s and Gettysburg Methodist churches and a widely known newspaper columnist. He also wrote “Uncle Charlie Says.”



To welcome these first days of 2021, here is the first photograph ever scanned into the archive of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation. In this setting around 1920, townsfolk are gathering for what appears to be a parade or political rally at the intersection of Plant and Main streets. In the center is the Dillard and Boyd building, constructed in 1912. The gap to its right is where a structure currently housing the MoonCricket Grille was built afterward.

The foundation now has more than 10,000 photographs documenting West Orange County’s history. Researchers are welcome. For an appointment, call (407) 656-3244.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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